Charlie Hunnam, the former star of hit crime-drama series Sons of Anarchy, will be making his return to the small screen with an Apple series.
Heading to Apple TV+ is Shantaram, a series based on the best-selling novel by Gregory David Roberts. The company acquired the straight-to-series project in a highly contested bidding war over a year ago.
As per Deadline, Hunnam will be taking on the lead role, playing a bank robber and drug addict who escapes from an Australian prison and heads to India, hoping to get lost in the crowded city of Bombay. His journey finds him far from friends and family, leading a new life in the underworld of India.
Aussie helmer Justin Kurzel, whose credits include Snowtown, Macbeth and the Assassin’s Creed movie, is on board to direct the first two episodes. The plan is to have 10 episodes.
Cameras will begin rolling in Australia and India from October. The Australian Federal Government has put forth $7.4 million for the production through the Location Incentive program, with the Victorian Government also supporting the production through Film Victoria’s Production Incentive Attraction Fund.
“Shantaram is a mesmerising Australian story and this series will bring it to life for a new generation, creating further jobs for our world-class screen industry,” Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher said in August.
“The production is expected to attract more than $55 million in investment, employ around 330 cast and crew and use the services of more than 500 local businesses.”
The series will be filmed at Melbourne’s Docklands Studios, with location shoots in the historic Pentridge Prison in Coburg and other locations.
Johnny Depp was actually once attached to star in a film adapation of the best-selling Shantaram, although that plan fell through when the writers strike rose up. Depp then tried to get the movie made with Joel Edgerton in the lead, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Hunnam has certainly been busy since wrapping up Sons of Anarchy in 2014, starring in films such as Crimson Peak, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Netflix’s Triple Frontier. Coming up, Hunnam will be seen in Kurzel’s Ned Kelly movie True History of the Kelly Gang (he isn’t playing Ned though; George MacKay is) and bare-knuckle boxing drama Jungleland with Jack O’Connell.